Giving to Charity and supporting Small

In the last decade, global volunteering hours and global charity donations, referred to as ‘global giving’ has been in decline, including in countries with a long history of philanthropy such as the UK, USA, Canada, Ireland, and the Netherlands. Combined with the economic pressures of the Covid-19 crisis, disposable income for charity giving may become a thing of the past for many households around the world. In this difficult context, it becomes all the more imperative for many of us that money spent on charity is money well-spent.

It is very likely that a huge contributing factor to this trend has been the numerous scandals surrounding some of the biggest powers in the charity sector recently. To name but a few of the most famous, global anti-poverty and aid group Oxfam was in the spotlight in 2018 for sexual misconduct in the field, and soon after very similar reports appeared concerning children’s charity Save The Children. Around the same time, Comic Relief was hoarding cash reserves while claiming desperation for donations, and there is barely a single charity in a celebrity’s name that hasn’t been involved in the scandal, from the Clinton Foundation to the Trump Foundation to the DiCaprio Foundation. We can confidently say that part of the reason for the decline in charitable giving has been the decline in trust towards the charity sector as a whole due to these scandals, but we cannot allow small charities to be categorised with this corruption. Not only are scandals becoming increasingly commonplace, but there are also disadvantages to choosing larger organisations even when they operate honestly. As small and start-up charities have to drive a huge effort behind each project, fundraising to the penny, you can be quite sure that your money is being spent in the way that you hoped, and that the particular project may not have even been possible without your contribution. By contrast, larger charities have to spend much more of a proportion of their income on staff salaries, office space, admin and marketing. Assuming that the main aim of an individual or group who donates to charity is to be as fabulously altruistic as possible, there’s no questioning that a contribution that is almost fully directed to the chosen cause, and may even have made that cause possible, is a better scenario than a donation which paid for a fraction of the cost of an advertising billboard. Perhaps we might say that the ‘superpowers’ of the charity sector are necessary – certainly, some essential and life-changing work, such as that of Cancer Research UK bring in an annual £500 million, requires large-scale operation which is only made possible by the ‘inconveniences’ of office space, paid staff, and international co-ordination. But from an individual perspective, when the impact is the measurement of success, the impact of your same penny on a small charity and the people or cause that they benefit is undoubtedly amplified.

Perhaps the previous unwillingness of the general population to donate to small charities is simply a result of the dominance of a select few organisations in the public eye, making it difficult to even discover, let alone filter through smaller charities in the hopes of donating. However, searching shouldn’t have to be a problem for the majority of us: many organisations rely on the support of their own staff’s network of friends, family and acquaintances to kick-start their funds and public presence, so helping out the people in your life who work with or for small charities is the best place to start.

Homeland Ghana is currently raising funds to support teachers and students with school supplies throughout the year. These essential items include pens, pencils, and other necessary supplies that are not always easily accessible to every child throughout the school year, let alone at the start of each term. Our goal is to raise £3000 by September 2023. We want to express our gratitude to all those who have donated, fundraised, shared and supported our cause so far. Your efforts have brought us closer to achieving our goal. If you want to support basic education and make sure that students have the necessary school supplies, you can donate any amount using the link provided below.

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